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Employment Permits System Update

New categories of occupation added to the Critical Skills Occupations List

The State’s Employment Permits system operates to enable highly skilled non-EEA nationals to fill roles in the labour market where demand cannot be met by the domestic labour force. On 20 June 2022, the Government announced a suite of changes to the employment permits system to address skill and labour shortages across multiple sectors of the economy.

Health sector

The health sector is set to be bolstered by the addition of several new roles to the Critical Skills Occupations List. The move has come in response to evidence of labour and skills shortages in the health service. It will enable eligible non-EEA nationals to apply for Critical Skills Employment Permits in the following positions:

  • Pharmacist
  • Cardiac physiologist
  • Medical scientist
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapist
  • Podiatrist/chiropodist
  • Psychologist, and
  • Speech language therapist

Revisions of quotas in construction and agri-food sectors

Additionally, previously imposed quotas on General Employment Permits for bricklayers, plasterers and other construction occupations have been removed. The quota of General Employment Permits for meat processing operatives has also been increased by 425.


Provided interest and demand for the positions exists, these changes should provide some measure of relief to employers as they struggle to address labour and skills shortages in the relevant sectors of health, construction and agri-food.

For more information, please contact a member of our Business Immigration team.

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.

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